NEW YORK -- Just as Corey Kluber was nearing his return to the Indians’ rotation, the 33-year-old hurler has been sidelined once again.
Kluber left Sunday’s rehab start for Triple-A Columbus with left abdominal tightness after tossing one inning, and he was sent back to Cleveland on Monday to be examined. On Tuesday, the club announced that the images confirmed an internal left oblique strain that will shut down the right-hander for the next two weeks.
“He came out after the first inning and felt something,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Fortunately, he didn’t go back out because I think he could’ve really made it worse. … He saw Dr. [Mark] Schickendantz yesterday. He saw Dr. [Jason] Genin hopefully today, if not in the morning, to see if there’s anything they feel they could do to maybe speed it up.”
Kluber had been rehabbing a fractured forearm that he suffered on a comebacker in Miami on May 1. He was making his third -- and what could’ve been his final -- rehab start in Charlotte for the Clippers on Sunday when he felt the pain in his abdomen.
Francona said there’s no way to know if the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner will be back in an Indians uniform by the end of the year, but the team will have him re-evaluated in two weeks to see how he’s recovered.
“I don’t think [guessing timetables] is fair to me or to Kluber,” Francona said. “In a couple weeks, we’ll re-evaluate him. I don’t know what else to say. That’s kind of what they told us.”
Carrasco’s surprising outing
While Kluber’s last rehab start did not go in his favor, teammate Carlos Carrasco's first outing went better than anyone anticipated. In his emotional return to the mound after stepping away from baseball for over two months due to leukemia, Carrasco tossed a scoreless inning for Double-A Akron, clocking in at 97 mph on his first pitch of the night.
“I think it surprised everybody,” Francona said. “His first pitch was 97. That was exciting. It was exciting to hear him through a text be that excited.”
Carrasco walked the leadoff batter, who was eventually caught stealing, induced a flyout and struck out the final hitter he faced before walking off the mound to a standing ovation. He’ll pitch again for the RubberDucks on Thursday.
“Cookie was ecstatic,” Francona said. “And it sounds like from everybody else, they were kind of the same way. Seemed like he came out firing. So we’re gonna give him two days down and pitch him again just because, I mean, he was really letting it go. We want to make sure we take care of him.”
Olson pulled off rehab assignment
Tyler Olson has been on the injured list since Aug. 2 with shingles. The lefty has made two rehab appearances, but his body hasn’t been bouncing back well and he’ll be shut down for the time being.
This date in Indians history
Aug. 20, 1995: Jose Mesa recorded his 37th consecutive save to begin the season, establishing an MLB record that would last until 2003.